It was a challenging week for the U.S. dollar but dollar bulls put up a good fight. Despite a weaker retail sales report and news that North Korea fired another missile over Japan, the dollar ended the week higher against all of the major currencies except for the British pound. The record-breaking level of U.S. stocks and the persistent rise in Treasury yields are primary reasons for the dollar’s resilience. Investors are hoping that the Federal Reserve will share the European Central Bank and the Bank of England’s hawkishness when they meet next week. However it will be difficult for them to do so with retail sales falling -0.2% in August. In the last 4 months there was only one month of positive spending growth, which is reflection of the weakness — not strength — of the U.S. economy.
This is important as we head into the new week as nothing will be more market moving than the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement. At this 2-day meeting, the central bank will also provide its latest economic projections followed by a press conference with Janet Yellen.